Canadian leader vows to roll back immigration changes


Toronto : Calling the proposed immigration changes a blow to Canadian multi-culturalism, opposition leader Jack Layton has vowed to oppose the amendment “every step of the way”.

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If the Conservative government manages to enact these changes, Layton said that his New Democratic Party (NDP) would “work to roll these back” after the next elections.

“The government is putting in place an arbitrary process under which you may not be allowed to come here even if you qualify. The immigration minister has been given the powers to pick and choose,” Layton told IANS.

He said his party will hold cross-country consultations with the communities to be affected by these changes and introduce a new legislation to annul them.

“We are ready to put our job on line and force elections on this issue,” he said.

Layton said: “The Conservative government wants only to bring in temporary workers who will not be able to bring in their families or become Canadian citizens. They don’t want immigrants to settle down in Canada any more.

“Their system of getting foreign temporary workers here, making them work to the bone and then sending them back home is not the way Canada was built.”

He said the immigration system was being changed to help big businesses, which could bring in cheap foreign labour for bigger profits.

“This government sees an immigrant only as an economic unit so that Canadian businesses can make more money. This is a very wrong attitude. Canada has been successful because of its multiculturalism, because we have whole families and communities here,” Layton said.

The NDP leader said the government was so afraid of immigrants that it was denying visas to family visitors and business people from Asia, including India, for fear that they might not go back.

“If this is the attitude of this government, how will Canada develop trade ties with the booming economies of India and China?” he asked.